STUDIO: Spectral Characteristics of Popular Commercial Recordings 1950-2010

In this work the long-term spectral contours of a large dataset of popular commercial recordings were analyzed. The aim was to analyze overall trends, as well as yearly and genre-specific ones. A novel method for averaging spectral distributions is proposed that yields results that are prone to comparison. With it, we found out that there is a consistent leaning toward a target equalization curve that stems from practices in the music industry but also to some extent mimics natural, acoustic spectra of ensembles.

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